Barack Obama shares rare family photo – and speaks of Sasha and Malia who've become 'great friends'

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Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Photo: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
  • Barack Obama says his daughters have become "great friends" and turned into "wonderful, kind, thoughtful, creative – and not entitled – young women".
  • 22-year-old Malia is finishing up her degree at Harvard University, while Sasha has just started at the University of Michigan.
  • The former US president speaks candidly of his family in his new memoir, A Promised Land, published by Penguin Random House.


In a recent interview with People in anticipation of his new memoir, A Promised Land, Barack Obama opened up about his two girls and the joys of spending time together amid lockdown.

The former president's daughters, whom he shares with Michelle Obama, are all grown up. 22-year-old Malia is finishing up her degree at Harvard University, while Sasha has just started at the University of Michigan.

"Like a lot of families who are lucky enough not to have to worry about losing a job, or a family member getting sick, there are times where it's felt claustrophobic, I'm sure, for them," Barack tells the publication, that's also shared a never-before-seen photo of the family taken in July 2019, when Sasha graduated from high school.

"But for Michelle and me as parents, to have this bonus time where your kids are having dinner with you every night and we're playing games and watching movies together – there's been a lot of joy to that."

ALSO READ | Barack Obama opens up about how the presidency caused 'tension' in his marriage to Michelle Obama

The 59-year-old says his daughters have become "great friends". "They've got a three-year gap between them, and when one is 16 and the other one's 13, there's still that sister competition," he says. "'Did you grab my halter top? Where is it? Why haven't you returned it? Why are you doing this? Why are you doing that?'

"Now they're both old enough, where they just enjoy each other's company. And to be together as a family and see how they've become these marvellous young women – there's been no greater joy than that."

Obama has dedicated his memoir to his wife and girls, saying: "There are great joys during our time in the White House. There was never a time where we didn't recognise what an extraordinary privilege it was to be there.

"I think, most importantly, our children emerged intact. And they are wonderful, kind, thoughtful, creative – and not entitled – young women. So I think that's a big sigh of relief."

The hardback of A Promised Land retails at R599 and is published by Penguin Random House.

READ AN EXCERPT HERE.   

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